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Airline Moves Smokers to Back of Plane

March 17, 1987

TOKYO (AP) _ Smokers are taking a back seat aboard Japan Air Lines domestic flights.

Beginning April 1, the airline will seat smokers in the rear instead of the middle of the plane and designate at least half of all seats on domestic flights for non-smokers, JAL spokesman Yasuhiko Inoue said today. Fewer than 40 percent of seats now are reserved for non-smokers.

He said the government-owned airline ordered the change because of passenger complaints that smoke was wafting into the rear non-smoking area.

Japanese are among the world’s heaviest smokers. However, the government says the number of smokers dropped during 1980-85 from 70.2 percent of adult men to 64.6 percent and from 14.4 of women to 13.7 percent.